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Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November, 2011. Since then she has produced five more books and is loving every step of her writing journey.
"I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love."
Karen Johnson Mead
on March 22, 2013 :
Melissa Pearl is truly proving herself to be a wonderful young adult writer. Having recently read Black Blood, and working my way through Pure Blood, I wondered what her other stories would be like. And they are not the same.
Betwixt is really a story about forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others. Sometimes it isn’t easy to do.
Nicole is one of the popular girls, but she has a secret, something tragic happened to her sister, and she witnessed it. It is something that she hides within her heart, the guilt that knowing it could have been different. Her parents, also grieving, have given Nicole space to express her grief. Instead they have driven themselves apart as a family. I love Nicole. She is quintessentially the popular girl, shallow, simple and in it for everything she can get, yet she doesn't get enough.
Dale also has a hidden secret, but he has at least forgiven himself, but he can’t forgive Nicole for what she did to him, branding him the way that she did. But when her spirit starts to haunt him, he has no choice but to listen to her. I love Dale, I love his simpleness, his faith, his wisdom. I wish more teenage boys were like Dale!
But Dale and Nicole don’t have much time. Nicole is lying in a forest somewhere, badly injured, and men are out to finish off the job. Dale has to find her, but where does he start, the area is too big.
As they work together, they discover that their histories aren’t too far different and that they need to learn to forgive to move on. No one has sinned bigger than another, but sometimes it feels that something is too big to cope with.
The characters are lovely, and even though Nicole is in spirit, you so want Nicole and Dale to get it together, but can they?
A wonderful, suspenseful read!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Dec. 03, 2012 :
My Review for: Betwixt by Melissa Pearl
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Wow. I adored it! But I will be honest with you, it did take me a little while to get into it but once I was in, I never wanted to come back out!
Nicole Tepper is your run of the mill mean girl. You know the type; she’s the girl with the hot jock boyfriend and the group of snide female followers, partying every night. She’s arrogant and entitled; feeling her world is perfect. Well, that is until the night someone hit her with their car and left her to die alone out in the woods.
Dale Finnigan is not what you would expect. He is quiet and reserved. And with an awful scar marring his handsome face, he isn’t part of Nicky’s crowd. Not even close. The one time he reached out to Nicole, she branded him with a horrible nickname to save face in front of her group of self-absorbed snotty friends. Even though, he sees something in Nicole that is redeemable; he refuses to put his self back out there for her.
That was until tragedy brought them together again. With her life slowly slipping away, she haunts the only person that can hear her spirit, Dale. Will she have enough time to convince this boy she is worth saving before she is gone forever? Will she finally look past the scar and see the amazing person that is Dale? Or will her would-be murderer finish her off before she is found?
Like I said before, it took me a bit to get into Nicole’s story. It was hard to feel sympathy for such a cruel and shallow person. But as the story unfolds, she grew on me. There is a decent person under all the ‘mean girl’ bravado. And the swoon-worthy Dale opens her eyes to the fact her life and friends might not be so perfect after all.
Betwixt is beautifully written and thought provoking in an age where bullying is spreading like an epidemic. Melissa Pearl tells a tale of human nature, cruelty and redemption. I love it. She had me smiling and crying throughout Nicole’s journey. If you haven’t read Betwixt yet, you are missing out on a wonderful YA paranormal. It's brilliant!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Lyrical Lit. Publishing
on Nov. 12, 2012 :
Loved this book! And the cover is awesome! This story follows Nicole, the main character who is a stuck up, cold teen who parties all the time and thrives in the self-destruction that is her life. One day, after rejecting her boyfriend Trent when he wants to go too far, she finds herself stranded in the forest after dark when he leaves her there. Great boyfriend, right? Trying to make her way home, she gets hit by a drunk driver and left for dead.
The next morning she finds herself in her bed, unscathed. Did she drink too much? After realizing that no one can see or hear her, she finds that the only person who can save her is Dale Finnigan- the one guy she humiliated and branded with the name `Scarface.' Will he even help her? She races against the clock to find her body as the person who hit her seeks to cover up the incident and finish her off.
I really enjoyed this story, though it was pretty much the same storyline as the 2007 movie `The Invisible' with actors Justin Chatwin and Margarita Levieva. But, I really loved that movie too! There were definitely differences, of course. One being that the female/male roles are reversed in this particular take on spirits and near death experiences. But I admit, it is very, very much like déjà vu when reading this story, it makes me think of that movie over and over again. Still, the writing is engaging, witty and easy to follow, pulling you smoothly into Nicole's dismal life, regretful decisions and rebirth in a way. I loved Dale's character and found him enduring, strong and with a huge heart. I cheered for him the whole way through.
If you want a great take on ghosts/spirits with some Christian themes included, this book is it! Great YA read!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)